IDM Patient Profile December 2014 – Margaret

This month our patient profile Margaret who joined the Intensive Dietary Management Program in April 2014.  At her first appointment, she was taking 120 units of insulin a day with an additional 2000 mg of Metformin to stabilize her blood sugar levels.  Her HbA1c, a 3 month average of blood sugars was 7.0%.  Her skin had no colour.  She appeared very lethargic and fragile. Walking to the exam room and changing position from sitting to standing was very difficult for her.
She had been gaining approximately 10 pounds a month for the last several months.  Each month they would increase her insulin level bit by bit.  Despite the increase in medication, she was not getting any healthier.  She had lost hope that her quality of life would every improve.  In her own words, she was ‘desperate’.

A common theme throughout our program is that too much of a good thing is a bad thing.  Insulin is absolutely vital for our survival, however, too much insulin is lethal.  We know that we need water to survive.  Humans cannot survive very long without it.  If we were to drink an excess amount water in one day we could potentially die from it as well.  Anything in excess is bad for us.

What most people fail to understand is that type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by too much insulin.  Toxic levels of insulin accumulate in the body and slowly start to poison it over time.  Margaret’s insulin wasn’t bad.  Her own insulin is the best brand of insulin for her body, but over time she had developed insulin resistance as a result of dietary habits.  Giving her insulin injections was not making the problem any better.  Every time Margaret took an injection of insulin it was like pouring gasoline on a fire.  It just made her insulin resistance worse and worse.

The cause of insulin resistance is high insulin levels itself.  Giving insulin wasn’t making her diabetes better, it was making it worse.  Why would anybody be so foolish as to believe that a disease of too high insulin levels would be improved by more insulin?  It is like giving alcohol to an alcoholic.  It makes it worse.  In the short term, though, things improve.  The alcoholic feels better with alcohol.  The ‘insulin addict’ feels better with their ‘hit’ of insulin.  The blood sugars get better.  But the diabetes gets worse.

Clearly, the answer is the opposite.  We do not want to raise insulin levels by giving insulin.  We want to lower insulin levels since the insulin is the cause of the disease.  However, stopping insulin suddenly would simply leave blood sugars at a dangerously high level.  So intensive dietary management was also needed.

Margaret was desperate to improve the quality of her life.  Since April, she has done amazingly well.  She came completely off of her insulin within 21 days of starting on the prorgam.  She stopped taking her Metformin 4 months later.  Her HbA1c was 6.6% when checked last month.  This means that her blood sugars are actually much better despite stopping ALL of her insulin and medications.  This is because her diabetes (insulin resistance) has improved.  The insulin resistance was the cause of the high blood sugars.  As her disease improved, her symptoms of high blood sugars did as well.  She has lost 65 pounds and 6 inches around her waist.
Today, I can barely recognize her.  She looks like a completely new woman.  She is more mobile.  Her energy levels have improved dramatically.  She no longer looks frail.    All of her success is a direct reflection of her dedication to achieving a healthier lifestyle.  Her husband, seeing such dramatic benefits also joined our program and has recently stopped all of his insulin as well.  They are now both on track to a healthier and diabetes-free future.  Congratulations Margaret!
Below, she has written her story in her own words.  Recently, at a recent lecture, we interviewed Margaret about the reversibility of type 2 Diabetes.  The fact that 25 years of type 2 diabetes can be reversed entirely through dietary measures in less than 6 months is remarkable and not well appreciated.


Margaret’s Story


My name is Marg.  Just 8 months ago I walked into the building for my appointment with Dr. Fung thinking this is a waste of my time.  I had tried everything.  My eye sight was getting really bad, I had to have surgery.  I have been over weight my whole life it seems.  I could not even bend over to tie my shoes.  I could hardly breathe as I walked through the door, but I continued on hoping to find something to at least help with my diabetes that I have had for 25 years. I recall Dr. Fung introducing himself and telling me I was there because I needed help.


I thought to myself here we go again, however, the doctor carefully explained I had options. I could have an operation or I could Fast which could help me get off Insulin.  I was then introduced to Megan who helped and guided me on how to get started Fasting.  I was told to try and Fast as long as I can.  Megan took my measurements and could not even reach around me.  I was told to come back in a week.  I went home feeling excited and anxious, could I actually do this?  I told my family and they were so encouraging.  I thought could this be what I have been looking for my whole life?  Prior to seeing Dr. Fung I was taking 60-20-60 units of Insulin and 2000 mg of Metforman a day.  Within 11 days of my first appointment I was decreasing my Insulin as my readings were already dropping. By the 12th day I completely stopped taking the Insulin.  It was not easy I did a complete fast for approximately 4 weeks.  However just not having to take Insulin was so encouraging!! I then started the next phase of eating 2 times one day and Fasting until lunchtime the next day.  Pills were next I starting cutting down by September 6th, I took my last Metformin.  I have already lost 66lbs and several inches from my waist.  I have dropped from a 5X to a 3X.  I can honestly say I have not felt this good in years. I can pick up the newspaper and actually read it.  I can also bend down and tie my own shoes. I have the encouragement and support to keep on going.


Thanks Dr. Fung and Megan for helping me keep on track. I am on a Journey which I believe I will be able to continue to the end.


You can hear more on Margaret’s story by clicking here.  

23 Responses

  1. do you have to fast for four weeks to start reducing insulin or will a 36 hour fast do it also, just at a slower pace?

    • No. Fasting schedules are infinitely flexible. A 36 hour fast will certainly be a step in the right direction. You can find more information under the “Patient Resources” tab.

  2. Tell me about your four week fast. For example… What did you drink? How did you cope with cravings, etc.? Did the cravings, etc., subside? If so, when? What should one be paying attention to? Did you do a before and after chemistry panel? I am interested in any of your insights.

  3. Jason, I have a guestion about high fasting blood sugar readings!
    My wife is 60 years old and has been on these meds for her diabetes…Metformin, Glimepiride, Victoza, and Lantus.
    She also has M.S. and exercise is a problem for her. I’ve changed her diet and we are also doing fasting in short intervals. ( 12 to 14 hours) She is no longer taking Lantus (as of Nov 26) or Victoza (as of Dec 15).
    She was getting fasting readings in the mornings between 63 and 100. So, we stop the Glimepiride. Now her fasting readings are ranging 110 to 175. Is this due to the liver dumping glucose while fasting or something else? If so, how is the beta cells getting a break in order to recover?
    We understand and hold harmless any medical advice or information you give here! Thank you for any reply!

  4. I would like to know about the four week fasting too. I tried a 4-day water fast three weeks or so ago and without insulin my sugar levels reverted to normal within 3 days, but I stopped it because I ended up with an awfully painful lower back and thighs. I think now I maybe wasn’t drinking enough water. Some ‘experts’ say ‘drink to thirst’, others say ‘drink at least 2 liters’. I drank to thirst, but my thirst response is almost certainly impaired.

    Although I have been eating much lower calorie interspersed with fasting days, and lost 12lbs over all (i need to lose around 100lbs and it only seems to come off when I water fast), I am still very resistant to the insulin I do have to take.

    I tried following LCHF for over 3 years, but my insulin resistance actually got worse and I gained over 30lbs. Many people find they can lower or even remove meds on that, but not me. Sigh.

    Fasting seems to be pretty much my only option now.

    PS. I never did get any communication from Megan after I contacted you several weeks ago……

  5. I’m a 54-year-old male diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at age 48 and was recently introduced to Dr. Fung’s IDM program through someone I met in an on-line Diabetes forum. I must say that I’m intrigued and impressed with the results. On a very basic level, the underlying principles of the program just seem to make sense. I do have one question: Once your Diabetic patients achieve their goal weight and waist line, their blood sugars returns to normal levels and they are taken off their Diabetes medication, are they also then weaned from the IDM program or do they continue with the intermittent fasting?

  6. Hi I am from India I am 28 Yrs. I want to start IDM as I am Diabetic from last 4-5 Months. Please suggest me what kind of Indian food I can take on Fast Days and On Non Fast Days.

    When I was diagnosed with diabetics 5 months back my sugar levels were 400+ so Dr. started Insulin for 2 Months. I controlled my sugar with the Help of Medication, Medicine, Insulin and Work Out to Level of 134 after Dinner.

    That is were I stopped using Insulin and was on Medicine. I was little ignorant and started to have sweets again.

    My Sugar Levels again went up high to 445.I still Take Medicine. Now I don’t want to take Insulin. I have faith on your Program. I need your Guidance for the same.

    I am interested in 24Hrs Fasting Program. Please let me know how you can help, and suggest should I take Insulin for few days with your Program or can just follow without Insulin?

  7. One More thing I am Loosing my weight. Before Diabetics I was 84 KG. It came down to 75KG and now it is 72 KG.

    Pl. Guide can Fasting help me reduce my Diabetes and help me to get back to normal?

    Can I have normal food after reversing my Diabetes?

    • If you stick to whole, unprocessed foods, then yes. If you return to sweets and white bread, then yes, the diabetes will return, too.

      • What about the weight loss? Can I regain my weight again once I reverse my diabetes?

  8. Hello, I am a 56 yer female diagnosed with type 2 about 4 years ago. Before that time I began to lose a lot of weight. I am now very thin. I am on only about 4 units of insulin both morning and evening, and no metformin or any other type of pills. I eat a very low carb diet with no fruits (as they raise my sugar levels) and take many supplements. I have begun eating more fat to try and gain weight, but that doesn’t seem to be helping much. My morning fasting levels have been creeping up over the months, now sometimes up to 200. I took alook at your 24 & 36 day diet /fasting samples and the diet includes a lot of fruit. If I follow your diet, will I eventually be able to eat the fruit with blood sugar spikes?

  9. I have read that fasting is very bad for your liver due to depriving it of protein. This is info I have read on anorexics. I have a high ALT and AST, will fasting aggravate this condition? I would very much like to try fasting, but I do not understand what ALT and AST are. Also I have dropped my /a1c from 7.2 to 6 by low carb high fat diet. Did my high fat diet cause my high ALT and AST?

    • Anorexia is a very different condition than obesity or fatty liver. In a normal, well nourished person (not anorexic), fasting does not have any detrimental effect on the liver. AST and ALT are liver enzymes. You likely have fatty liver, but you need to check with your physician. High fat diets do not cause fatty liver. Diets high in refined grains and sugars are more likely the cause. A LCHF diet is a great start.

  10. The information under “Patient Resources” password protected, Why?

  11. Dr Jason,

    Hello from London. I got diagnosed recently and I am medication (Metformin). I have an H1ABC of 10%. I am 37 YO, Thin guy, BMI of 22.5
    I was wondering if your program may help me given that I am too thin?

    Thank You

    • It may or may not help, there are no guarantees in life. Does it hurt to try?

      • Of course Not Sir. I am going to my GP with this info on Monday and then will send an email to join.

        Thank You very much.

  12. May I ask for how many days the fasting diet last? Is the duration the same for everyone?
    I would like to help my father. He based in Greece and he can not speak English. I am based in UK, so I will be the one to monitor and support him from distance.
    I need to make sure I am aware of every single detail before he starts the program.
    He is very excited and he wants to start it asap but I am not sure if he can do it without my support.
    Please may I ask if there are other people who joined the distance program to help me and give some further info of how it works etc before I join my father?
    Many Thanks

  13. Toni Bissell Legates

    After 13 days of water fasting and 25 days of 20/4 fasting plus a LCHF diet my BG levels are doing weird things. First they started down and got very close to normal. Now they are climbing and staying over 350. I’m lost and worried about these high numbers. They come down somewhat after I break my fast but now when I wake in the morning they are around 250 and climb to almost 400 right before I break my fast for the day. They were going down very well 2 weeks ago before beginning a slow climb now they bounce about six hours after my meal and snack for the day. I eat one moderate meal and have a snack of nuts about an hour before I begin my fast again. I wish someone would help me figure out what is going on.

    • I am no expert, but from my experience(T2DM 6 years), it sounds like you need to persist and be patient. You also need to repeat the fast you describe above. Give it 6 – 12 months. It sounds like your liver is dumping and/or the process behind it. Remember the immune system, insulin resistance, metabolic process and hormonal balance, are all feeding of other processes, or are interdependent processes and can complicate healing. There is still excess glucose or glucose manufacturing present in your body. I am in the midst of a water fast as well with a LCHF (Day 10) and I get similar morning results to you. Some days morning readings are good. Some morning readings are bad. I don’t stress though, as I know the body is healing. My insulin dependency has halved in 10 days. Remember, as a rule of thumb you need to lose at least a gram of fat from the pancreas and liver. This usually translates to 10-15% of your body weight.

      Please feel free to correct me, as most of my research is done by reading lectures, medical articles and random literature. But remember, the body heals itself if you let it. Water fasting seems to achieve the best results. But it needs to be repeated. You can judge results on a one-off. Everyone is slightly different and you need to work out what works best for you. The principle remains the same. Calorie restriction. And when you do feed it needs to be quality nutrients(LCHF). Good luck!

  14. Rai
    I am 77 year old retiree frm Singapore and am a diabetic for 33 years. My diabetes is well under control but with lot of medication including 9 units of Insulin. I wish to join your programme being in Singapore.

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